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Post Archive
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2010 (36)
December (1)

Adieu
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
November (2)

Payoffs of wasting time
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DonorsChoose
Monday, November 1, 2010
October (12)

"Lessons from a Recovering Postdoc" on Benchfly
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Question about the Void: Guidelines for postdocs
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Question about the Void: What *is* a postdoc?
Monday, October 18, 2010

Blown away!
Monday, October 18, 2010

Living in the Void: How much is a postdoc worth?
Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Tale of Mrs. T and the Rats
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DonorsChoose: The Rat Race Is On!!!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shock Week
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Science Bloggers for Students: The Prelaunch
Friday, October 8, 2010

Storytime
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Repost: What's in a name?
Saturday, October 2, 2010

Method Madness
Friday, October 1, 2010
September (8)

A friendly warning
Friday, September 24, 2010

Thanks...
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lighting fires
Monday, September 20, 2010

Learning without teaching: A repost and addendum
Monday, September 20, 2010

The Changeup
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I wish that I knew what I know now...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

For Science's Sake, Pay Attention
Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Morning Silliness: A Speech to Remember
Saturday, September 4, 2010
August (11)

#ACS_Boston: In my PJs
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Turning the Spotlight on Women in Science
Saturday, August 21, 2010

Give us something to talk about
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roundup! Aug. 8-15
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Roundup! Work-life balance
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Roundup! July 31-Aug. 7
Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blogging with substance-which substance, we won't say
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Living in The Void: Healthcare
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Give and take
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What some smart women have to say about balance
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Viewpoints on Mega-Science
Monday, August 2, 2010
July (2)

Monkeywrenches
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Surviving the game
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
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biochem belle

Research-and careers therein-rarely follows a linear path. Instead, it is often a long and winding road. These are stories about science and my personal experiences on this road.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Nov 07, 2010, 4:50pm
Saturday, July 24, 2010

For some of you perhaps, this little nook on LabSpaces might be the first time we've met. Maybe some of you reading this have followed me from Blogger and/or WordPress. To all, welcome and thanks for stopping by! To the latter group, also thanks for your patience and tagging along. I've been blogging "solo" for over a year, but I thought it would be nice to join this little band of bloggers for a while. After all, misery loves company, right?

And speaking of misery... to start, doesn't the title of postdoc say enough? (Only kidding... OK, mostly kidding.) If you've arrived here via Twitter or a previous edition of this blog, you might have noticed that my journey so far has been a bit bumpy. I know that a career in science, and in particular, a postdoc position, is never exactly easy. There are always hurdles and sometimes walls. I also will acknowledge that some people have good postdoc experiences. However, this one has been... suboptimal, for reasons that I might detail at some point in time.

The thing I've realized over the past several months is that science careers are very much like poker. For a while, I stayed at the table. I folded on some hands, called others, but I stayed in the game, even though I was bleeding chips. At some point, I started thinking it might be time to leave the table, but I just wasn't quite ready "give up". In other words, I was this guy:

I reached a point where I felt like I was beginning to arrest the outflow, and maybe I was even beginning to win a few rounds. It seemed like progress.

Then it all fell apart again. This time, though, I knew it was time to walk away. I realized that this wasn't about giving up but about cutting my losses, that it was time I started looking out for my best interests and that staying was not part of it. It was mildly terrifying to effectively give my notice without having something lined up, but for myriad reasons, it was necessary to maintain my sanity.

It turns out the timing was impeccable. Just a couple of weeks after I started looking for a new job, an open postdoc position in my current city was posted on a science jobs site. The focus and approaches of the project aligned beautifully with what I was looking for. There was some peripheral overlap with my graduate work, but there was substantial divergence as well. The long and short of it, the PI liked what he saw, as did I, and I will be joining the lab in a few weeks. I have a seat at another table in another town, so to speak.

I have learned a great deal from the experience, which I will share in future posts. In the meantime, Kenny Rogers and the Muppets can sum up what might be the most important part:

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Blog Comments

Mod Scientist
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Welcome! Looking forward sharing in your post-doc misery. It helps to know we are not alone!

Suzy
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Thanks for being here to share your stories. My second postdoc was a horror show so I can relate to having to face the question of stay vs. go. Welcome and I look forward to more.
Abel Pharmboy

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Congratulations on both of your moves! I love LabSpaces.

And you've gotta have incredible respect for someone who values Kenny Rogers and The Muppets.

These are great steps and you are going to do fine. Be well, my friend!
DrugMonkey

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hey, great move. Loving all the moving and shaking by LabSpaces lately.


i kid you not the captcha was "jockstrap term".

biochem belle
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Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone! I'm looking forward to my time here... although we might need to talk to Brian about those captcha phrase ;)
Autistic Lurker

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I recently looked up your wordpress blog close to 2 weeks ago and decided to add it to my blogroll for a try :)

is there an rss feed for the blog here?

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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The Muppet Show's "The Gambler" is one of the best moments in television history, period. Congrats on the new post-doc position! Can't wait to hear how everything goes!

biochem belle
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Lurker - Glad you found me :) Here's RSS feed for this blog. If you decide to keep up with any of the other great bloggers here, the RSS feed button should be at the bottom of the blog post, before the comment section. Or you can subscribe to this feed, which aggregates all the blogs on LabSpaces.

Dr Becca & Abel - I must say, I've always had a certain respect for Kenny Rogers, maybe ingrained from childhood after watching The Gambler movies. But adding in the Muppets just makes it classic
That does remind me-I recall, when I was a kid, listening to this rendition with Alvin and the Chipmunks (the old ones animated by hand, not the nutty, computer-animated ones).

Brian Krueger, PhD
Duke University
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@Lurker, I just realized that I didn't code in the atom link for the URL RSS icon to show up. I'll put it in now! The RSS feed links can be found at the bottom of each post below "Share," and on the Blogger's main blog page

@Drugmonkey, @Belle, I have no control over the CAPTCHA, blame reCAPTCHA ;)
Prof-like Substance

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Congrats on finding a new game that is better suited to what you are looking for. Postdoc positions are a tricky thing, but a good one can really launch your career. And congrats on the move here as well!

Lady Scientist
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I look forward to seeing you around here. I love the musical blog post!
Autistic Lurker

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Thansk Biochem Belle for the pointers to the feeds, I added them both but I'll see if I keep the combined feed because I don't have too much time to spend on blogs and thus, I keep my blogroll small.

Gerty-Z
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Sweet new space! I hope that your new postdoc is also an awesome fit. Good luck, and thanks for showing me this new Lab Space network. Nifty!
Tideliar

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Congrats on the move Belle! I'm wondering to do with my "official" blog. I guess the blogspot blog is OK as a solo little place right now. I'm also deciding whether I should relax and out myself and just link content.

Well done on the move. Lab Spaces is a fun place to be!
Arlenna

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Yay, nice move BB! Looking forward to watching you guys set up camp here.
Confounded

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Congrats on the move, both the new postdoc and the new LabSpaces blog!
unbalanced reaction

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Very cool!

More changes! I need to add you to my last freakout post. :)
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